Wisdom from St. Augustine

I praise the dance, for it frees people
from the heaviness of matter and binds
the isolated to community.

I praise the dance, which demands everything:
health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul.

Dance is a transformation of space, of time, of people,
who are in constant danger of becoming all brain,
will, or feeling.

Dancing demands a whole person, one who is
firmly anchored in the center of her life, who is
not obsessed by lust for people and things
and the demon of isolation in her own ego.

Dancing demands a freed person, one who vibrates
with the equipoise of all her powers.

I praise the dance.

O woman, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven
will not know what to do with you.

Note: The original version of this poem speaks of "he" rather than "she" and "man" rather than "woman."